History & Philosophy


Ellen Schaeffer opened One Yoga Center in 1996. At that time, Ellen resided in Foster, RI and was inspired to bring the teachings of Yoga to her home community. The center started out offering just three weekly classes, and has expanded to offer classes 6 days a week. One Yoga Center also offers a wide variety of programs and workshops intended to inspire people of varying interests and backgrounds. The center is also home to the Integrative Yoga Therapy teacher training, taught by Ellen Schaeffer and staff.


The core of our philosophy and mission is a belief that we are all connected. We are all One. It’s our intention to provide classes and programs that meet the needs and interests of all; regardless of age, level of fitness, spiritual orientation or socioeconomic circumstance.

All teachers and practitioners affiliated with One Yoga Center are well-trained, certified professionals who demonstrate a love for humanity and passion for their work. The traditional values of Yoga are respected with an emphasis on acknowledging and respecting the unique needs of each student.

The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which refers to yoking or union. It speaks to a process of integrating mind, body and spirit. This process nurtures a feeling of personal wholeness that is the core of a life experience filled with peace, deep joy and contentment.

People come to Yoga for different reasons. Some people are referred to Yoga by their physicians for stress management, back care and other health management practices. Others come to stretch, exercise and open up their bodies. Some come looking for a path to connect more deeply with themselves, to find deeper meaning to their existence.

Regardless of the reason why someone comes to Yoga, it is possible to discover that Yoga is much more than asana (yoga postures). There is potential to discover that what happens “on the mat” mirrors what is unfolding in life. Through this discovery, the practice teaches us how to embrace our humanness with love and compassion. In moving ourselves toward a place of radical self-acceptance, our hearts open wide to embrace the gifts and follies of all humanity and all of life.

As our hearts expand we begin to see the living spark of our own life force in the eyes of each person we encounter. This “awakening” brings the individual and humanity one step closer to universal love, harmony and peace.